SELMA, Alabama — This Sunday marks the 56th anniversary of the march through Selma and it’s the first year we’ll commemorate “Bloody Sunday” without three civil rights icons.
Congressman John Lewis, the reverend CT Vivian and the reverend Joseph Lowery died within the past year.
The three civil rights giants will be honored in Selma Sunday during the Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the breakfast will be held as a drive-in. Afterwards, there will be a “slow drive” across Edmund Pettus Bridge, where wreaths will be placed in their honor.
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The Edmund Pettus Bridge is the site of the “Bloody Sunday” march in 1965. Lewis and hundreds of civil rights marchers tried to finish crossing over the bridge, only to be beaten to near death by Alabama state troopers.
Lewis, alongside Hosea Williams, had led over 600 marchers across the bridge. When they got to the end, Alabama State Troopers ordered them to disperse. Instead, they stopped to pray.
The troopers charged the demonstrators, beating and tear gassing them.
Lewis bore the scars from that day on his head for the rest of his life.